by Jay Adams

It is important in counseling to bring people to a place of repentance, confession of sin, and forgiveness whenever necessary. That is good, biblical and necessary. But there is more.

Reconciliation ought to follow. As we are reconciled to God after forgiveness, so too ought the counselor help counselees to develop proper relationships with one another. Two who have been at enmity, may not find it easy to do so. They ask forgiveness, seem embarrassed, and in the future avoid one another, RECONCILIATION MEANS DEVELOPING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP FOR THE FUTURE.

So, don’t just send off two who have quarreled after forgiveness. Work with them to develop a future, friendly relationship. Naturally, there will we embarrassment, but that should not cause them to avoid one another in the future, A new, and truly biblical relationship must be developed.

Of course, it may be difficult especially when two are members of the same church, but that’s the beauty of reconciliation—it is possible to exhibit it in many ways in the future before others....

I didn’t say that such persons must become the closest of friends. But there must be no standoffishness. The pastor ought to warn about the problem and monitor it in days to come. Further counseling may be required, but—whatever it takes (biblically)—they must establish a holy relationship as God does after reconciling with us.

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